/bi hayv"yeuhr/, n.1. manner of behaving or acting.2. Psychol., Animal Behav.a. observable activity in a human or animal.b. the aggregate of responses to internal and external stimuli.c. a stereotyped, species-specific activity, as a courtship dance or startle reflex.3. Often, behaviors. a behavior pattern.4. the action or reaction of any material under given circumstances: the behavior of tin under heat.[1375-1425; BEHAVE + -ior (on model of havior, var. of havor < MF (h)avoir L habere to have); r. late ME behavoure, behaver. See BEHAVE, -OR1]Syn. 1. demeanor, manners; bearing, carriage. BEHAVIOR, CONDUCT, DEPORTMENT, COMPORTMENT refer to one's actions before or toward others, esp. on a particular occasion. BEHAVIOR refers to actions usually measured by commonly accepted standards: His behavior at the party was childish. CONDUCT refers to actions viewed collectively, esp. as measured by an ideal standard: Conduct is judged according to principles of ethics. DEPORTMENT is behavior related to a code or to an arbitrary standard: Deportment is guided by rules of etiquette. The teacher gave Susan a mark of B in deportment. COMPORTMENT is behavior as viewed from the standpoint of one's management of one's own actions: His comportment was marked by a quiet assurance.
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